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Flood warnings in place as UK braces for heavy rains over weekend

Written on:December 28, 2023
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Car driving through flood water in Yorkshire

Commuters are facing travel disruptions due to heavy downpour causing flooding

With 82 flood warnings and 182 flood alerts across England and Wales, the Environment Agency has forecast heavy rain today and tomorrow in most parts of Britain, which may increase the risk of flooding. As persistent wet weather affects road and rail networks across Britain, a storm is also expected over the weekend.

The Environment Agency said that the western part of the UK should be braced to bear the brunt of more wet weather, where many areas are still saturated by flood water of previous week. While heavy rain is expected to lash the north and west on Friday leading to heightening of flood threat, heavy downpour across the country is expected on Saturday.

An Environment Agency spokesman noted the risk of flooding from groundwater in Dorset, while large rivers like Thames, Severn Trent, are still rising, owning to the recent downpours. As a result, the UK is likely to experience further flooding of low-lying land, such as flood plains and low-lying roads as the peak in river levels moves downstream, the spokesman said.

Thursday saw misery for rail and road commuters due to late-engineering works coupled with landslip diversions. The First Great Western said that its main line in the South West, which was closed due to flooding between Exeter St Davids and Tiverton, is likely to open by Saturday.

The Thames Barrier has been reopened, after it was raised on Thursday morning to keep the high tide out of London and reduce the risk of flooding. Rail commuters have been advised not to travel to or from Cornwall and Devon, which have been severely affected by heavy downpour and flooding. The Met Office said that just under two inches of rain is required to mark 2012 as the wettest year on record in the history of the UK.

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